It takes a herd of goats, llamas and sheep to mow O'Hare
It's been two years since an eclectic herd of llamas, goats, donkeys and sheep descended on a hilltop at O'Hare International Airport and they've been unbleatable since.
Tuesday, new Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans inspected the mowing team that prunes hard-to-reach grass.
The unusual move of bringing in animals to cut grass came because of steep terrain that's unfriendly to conventional mowers. The city must keep its vegetation trim to discourage dangerous pests.
The animals arrived at O'Hare July 2013 and quickly acclimatized, making short work of the fescue and other grasses. Many are from a Will County animal rescue center. The city also contracted with Central Commissary Holdings, a restaurant company, to provide the herd, which in turn partnered with Settler's Pond.
The nonprofit shelter cares for 350 rescues ranging from exotic animals to the burros. Central Commissary has its own herd of goats based at a Barrington farm, which produces goat cheese for the company's Butcher & the Burger restaurant.
The herd's duties include about 120 acres of dense, scrubby vegetation on four sites, at a distance or separated from the airfield by fencing.